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RE: The Seven Keys of Symbolism?

Nov 01, 2005 11:39 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck

Nov 1 2005

Dear Friend:

Allow me to add to the references given a while ago:




Heptachord - Lyre of Apollo


MAHATMA LETTERS 345-6 explained

“Does your B.T.S. know the meaning of the white and black interlaced
triangles, of the Parent Society's seal that it has also adopted? Shall I
explain? – 

the double triangle viewed by the Jewish Kabalists as Solomon's Seal, is, as
many of you doubtless know the Sri-antara of the archaic Aryan Temple, the
"mystery of Mysteries," a geometrical synthesis of the whole occult

The two interlaced triangles are the Buddhangums of Creation. They contain
the "squaring of the circle," the "philosophical stone," the great problems
of Life and Death, and -- the Mystery of Evil. 

The chela who can explain this sign from every one of its aspects -- is
virtually an adept. 

How is it then that the only one among you, who has come so near to
unravelling the mystery is also the only one who got none of her ideas from
books? Unconsciously she gives out -- to him who has the key -- the first
syllable of the Ineffable name! 

Of course you know that the double-triangle -- the Satkiri Chakram of Vishnu
-- or the six-pointed star, is the perfect seven. In all the old Sanskrit
works -- Vedic and Tantrik -- you find the number 6 mentioned more often
than the 7 -- this last figure, the central point being implied, for it is
the germ of the six and their matrix. 

It is then thus . . . [At this point in the original there is a rough
drawing of the interlaced triangles inscribed in a circle. -- ED.] -- the
central point standing for seventh, and the circle, the Mahakasha -- endless
space -- for the seventh Universal Principle. 

In one sense, both are viewed as Avalokitesvara, for they are respectively
the Macrocosm and the microcosm. 

The interlaced triangles -- the upper pointing one -- is Wisdom concealed,
and the downward pointing one -- Wisdom revealed (in the phenomenal world). 

The circle indicates the bounding, circumscribing quality of the All, the
Universal Principle which, from any given point expands so as to embrace all
things, while embodying the potentiality of every action in the Cosmos. 

As the point then is the centre round which the circle is traced -- they are
identical and one, and though from the standpoint of Maya and Avidya --
(illusion and ignorance) -- one is separated from the other by the
manifested triangle, the 3 sides of which represent the three gunas --
finite attributes. 

In symbology the central point is Jivatma (the 7th principle), and hence
Avalokitesvara, the Kwan-Shai-yin, the manifested "Voice" (or Logos), the
germ point of manifested activity; -- hence -- in the phraseology of the
Christian Kabalists "the Son of the Father and Mother," and agreeably to
ours -- "the Self manifested in Self -- Yih-sin, the "one form of
existence," the child of Dharmakaya (the universally diffused Essence), both
male and female. 

Parabrahm or "Adi-Buddha" while acting through that germ point outwardly as
an active force, reacts from the circumference inwardly as the Supreme but
latent Potency. 

The double triangles symbolize the Great Passive and the Great Active; the
male and female; Purusha and Prakriti. 

Each triangle is a Trinity because presenting a triple aspect. 

The white represents in its straight lines: Gnanam -- (Knowledge); Gnata --
(the Knower); and Gnayam -- (that which is known). The black-form, colour,
and substance, also the creative, preservative, and destructive forces and
are mutually correlating, etc., etc. 

Well may you admire and more should you wonder at the marvellous lucidity of
that remarkable seeress [Mrs. Kingsford], who ignorant of Sanskrit or Pali,
and thus shut out from their metaphysical treasures, has yet seen a great
light shining from behind the dark bills of exoteric religions. How, think
you, did the "Writers of the Perfect Way" come to know that Adonai was the
Son and not the Father; or that the third Person of the Christian Trinity is
-- female? Verily, they lay in that work several times their hands upon the
keystone of Occultism. Only does the lady -- who persists using without an
explanation the misleading term "God" in her writings -- know how nearly she
comes up to our doctrine when saying: -- "Having for Father, Spirit which is
Life (the endless Circle or Parabrahm) and for Mother the Great Deep, which
is Substance (Prakriti in its undifferentiated condition) -- Adonai
possesses the potency of both and wields the dual powers of all things." 

We would say triple, but in the sense as given this will do. 

Pythagoras had a reason for never using the finite, useless figure -- 2, and
for altogether discarding it. 

The ONE, can, when manifesting, become only 3. 

The unmanifested when a simple duality remains passive and concealed. The
dual monad (the 7th and 6th principles) has, in order to manifest itself as
a Logos, the "Kwan-shai-yin" to first become a triad (7th, 6th and half of
the 5th); then, on the bosom of the "Great Deep" attracting within itself
the One Circle -- form out of it the perfect Square, thus "squaring the
circle" -- the greatest of all the mysteries, friend -- and inscribing
within the latter the -- WORD (the Ineffable name) -- otherwise the duality
could never tarry as such, and would have to be reabsorbed into the ONE. 

The "Deep" is Space -- both male and female. "Purush (as Brahma) breathes in
the Eternity: when 'he' in-breathes -- Prakriti (as manifested Substance)
disappears in his bosom; when 'he' out-breathes she reappears as Maya," says
the Sloka. The One reality is Mulaprakriti (undifferentiated Substance) --
the "Rootless root," the. . . But we have to stop, lest there should remain
but little to tell for your own intuitions. 

Well may the Geometer of the R.S. not know that the apparent absurdity of
attempting to square the circle covers a mystery ineffable. It would hardly
be found among the foundation stones of Mr. Roden Noel's speculations upon
the "pneumatical body . . . of our Lord," nor among the debris of Mr.
Farmer's "A New Basis of Belief in Immortality"; and to many such
metaphysical minds it would be worse than useless to divulge the fact, that 

the Unmanifested Circle -- the Father, or Absolute Life -- is non-existent
outside the Triangle and Perfect Square, and -- is only manifested in the
Son; and that it is when, reversing the action and returning to its absolute
state of Unity, and the square expands once more into the Circle -- that
"the Son returns to the bosom of the Father." 

There it remains until called back by his Mother -- the "Great Deep," to
remanifest as a triad -- the Son partaking at once, of the Essence of the
Father, and of that of the Mother -- the active Substance, Prakriti in its
differentiated condition. 

"My Mother -- (Sophia -- the manifested Wisdom) took me" -- says Jesus in a
Gnostic treatise; and he asks his disciples to tarry till he comes. . . .
The true "Word" may only be found by tracing the mystery of the passage
inward and outward of the Eternal Life, through the states typified in these
three geometric figures. 

The criticism of "A Student of Occultism" (whose wits are sharpened by the
mountain air of his home) and the answer of "S.T.K. . . . Chary" (June
Theosophist) upon a part of your annular and circular expositions need not
annoy or disturb in any way your philosophic calm. ...

If anyone can unravel it from such tangled threads as are given him, very
well; and a fine proof it would indeed be of his or her spiritual insight.
Some -- have come very near it. But yet there is always with the best of
them just enough error, -- colouring and misconception; the shadow of Manas
projecting across the field of Buddhi -- to prove the eternal law that only
the unshackled Spirit shall see the things of the Spirit without a veil. 

No untaught amateur could ever rival the proficient in this branch of
research; yet the world's real Revelators have been few, and its
pseudo-Saviours legion; and fortunate it is if their half-glimpses of the
light are not, like Islam, enforced at the sword's point, or like Christian
Theology, amid blazing faggots and in torture chambers. 

Your Fragments contain some -- still very few errors, due solely to your two
preceptors of Adyar, one of whom would not, and the other could not tell you
all. The rest could not be called mistakes -- rather incomplete
explanations. These are due, partly to your own imperfect education in your
last theme -- I mean the ever-threatening obscurations -- partly to the poor
vehicles of language at our disposal, and in part again, to the reserve
imposed upon us by rule. ...

The trouble is that (a) you cannot be given the real figures and difference
in the Rounds, and (b) that you do not open doors enough for explorers... :
at all events Try. "Nothing was ever lost by trying." 

You share with all beginners the tendency to draw too absolutely strong
inferences from partly caught hints, and to dogmatize thereupon as though
the last word had been spoken. You will correct this in due time. 

You may misunderstand us, are more than likely to do so, for our language
must always be more or less that of parable and suggestion, when treading
upon forbidden ground; we have our own peculiar modes of expression and what
lies behind the fence of words is even more important than what you read.
But still -- TRY.... 

Meanwhile, I shall, with your permission, close this first volume. 
K. H. 




STANZA III. (continued). 


Q. How are we to understand the expression that the vibration touches the
whole universe and also the germ? 

A. First of all the terms used must be defined as far as possible, for the
language used is purely figurative. The Universe does not mean the Kosmos or
world of forms but the formless space, the future vehicle of the Universe
which will be manifested. This space is synonymous with the "waters of
space," with (to us) eternal darkness, in fact with Parabrahm. In short the
whole Sloka refers to the "period" before there was any manifestation
whatever. In the same way the Germ—the Germ is eternal, the undifferentiated
atoms of future matter—- is one with space, as infinite as it is
indestructible, and as eternal as space itself. Similarly with "vibration,"
which corresponds with the Point, the unmanifested Logos. 

It is necessary to add one important explanation. In using figurative
language, as has been done in the Secret Doctrine, analogies and comparisons
are very frequent. Darkness for instance, as a rule, applies only to the
unknown totality, or, Absoluteness. Contrasted with eternal darkness the
first Logos is certainly, Light; contrasted with the second or third, the
manifested Logoi, the first is Darkness, and the others are Light.



Q. Why is Light said to drop one solitary ray into the waters and how is
this ray represented in connection with the Triangle? 

A. However many the Rays may appear to be on this plane, when brought back
to their original source they will finally be resolved into a unity, like
the seven prismatic colors which all proceed from, and are resolved into the
one white ray. Thus too, this one solitary Ray expands into the seven rays
(and their innumerable sub-divisions) on the plane of illusion only. It is
represented in connection with the Triangle because the Triangle is the
first perfect geometrical figure. As stated by Pythagoras, and also in the
Stanza, the Ray (the Pythagorean Monad) descending from "no-place" (Aloka),
shoots like a falling star through the planes of non-being into the first
world of being, and gives birth to Number One; then branching off, to the
right, it produces Number Two; turning again to form the base-line it begets
Number Three, and thence ascending again to Number One, it finally
disappears therefrom into the realms of non-being as Pythagoras shows. 

Q. Why should Pythagorean teachings be found in old Hindu philosophies? 

A. Pythagoras derived this teaching from India and in the old books we find
him spoken of as the Yavanacharya or Greek Teacher. Thus we see that the
Triangle is the first differentiation, its sides however all being described
by the one Ray. 

Q. What is really meant by the term "planes of non-being"?


A. In using the term "planes of non-being" it is necessary to remember that
these planes are only to us spheres of non-being, but those of being and
matter to higher intelligences than ourselves. The highest Dhyan-Chohans of
the Solar System can have no conception of that which exists in higher
systems, i.e., on the second "septenary" Kosmic plane, which to the Beings
of the ever invisible Universe is entirely subjective. 

Sloka (4). (Then) THE THREE (Triangle) FALL INTO THE FOUR
LUMINOUS EGG (Hiranyagarbha), WHICH IN ITSELF IS THREE (the triple
hypostases of Brahma, or Vishnu, the three Avasthas) CURDLES AND SPREADS IN

Q. Is the Radiant Essence the same as the luminous Egg? What is the Root
that grows in the ocean of life? 

A. The radiant essence, luminous egg or Golden Egg of Brahma, or again,
Hiranyagarbha, are identical. The Root that grows in the ocean of life is
the potentiality that transforms into objective differentiated matter the
universal, subjective, ubiquitous but homogeneous germ, or the eternal
essence which contains the potency of abstract nature. The Ocean of Life is,
according to a term of the Vedanta philosophy—if I mistake not—the "One
Life," Paramatma, when the transcendental supreme Soul is meant; and
Jivatma, when we speak of the physical and animal "breath of life" or, so to
speak, the differentiated soul, that life in short, which gives being to the
atom and the universe, the molecule and the man, the animal, plant, and

"The Radiant Essence curdled and spread through the depths of Space." From
an astronomical point of view this is easy of explanation: it is the Milky
Way, the world-stuff, or primordial matter in its first form.


Q. Is the Radiant Essence, Milky Way, or world-stuff, resolvable into atoms,
or is it non-atomic? 

A. In its precosmic state it is of course, non-atomic, if by atoms you mean
molecules; for the hypothetical atom, a mere mathematical point, is not
material or applicable to matter, nor even to substance. The real atom does
not exist on the material plane. The definition of a point as having
position, must not, in Occultism, be taken in the ordinary sense of
location; as the real atom is beyond space and time. The word molecular is
really applicable to our globe and its plane, only: once inside of it, even
on the other globes of our planetary chain, matter is in quite another
condition, and non-molecular. The atom is in its eternal state, invisible
even to the eye of an Archangel; and becomes visible to the latter only
periodically, during the life cycle. The particle, or molecule, is not, but
exists periodically, and is therefore regarded as an illusion. 
The world-stuff informs itself through various planes and cannot be said to
be resolved into stars or to have become molecular until it reaches the
plane of being of the visible or objective Universe. 

Q. Can ether be said to be molecular in Occultism? 

A. It entirely depends upon what is meant by the term. In its lowest strata,
where it merges with the astral light, it may be called molecular on its own
plane; but not for us. But the ether of which science has a suspicion, is
the grossest manifestation of Akasa, though on our plane, for us mortals, it
is the seventh principle of the astral light, and three degrees higher than
"radiant matter." When it penetrates, or informs something, it may be
molecular because it takes on the form of the latter, and its atoms inform
the particles of that "something." We may perhaps call matter "crystallized


Q. But what is an atom, in fact? 

A. An atom may be compared to (and is for the Occultist) the seventh
principle of a body or rather of a molecule. The physical or chemical
molecule is composed of an infinity of finer molecules and these in their
turn of innumerable and still finer molecules. Take for instance a molecule
of iron and so resolve it that it becomes non-molecular; it is then, at once
transformed into one of its seven principles, viz., its astral body; the
seventh of these is the atom. The analogy between a molecule of iron, before
it is broken up, and this same molecule after resolution, is the same as
that between a physical body before and after death. The principles remain
minus the body. Of course this is occult alchemy, not modern chemistry. 

Q. What is the meaning of the allegorical "churning of the ocean," and "cow
of plenty" of the Hindus, and what correspondence is there between them and
the "war in heaven"? 

A. A process which begins in the state of "non-being," and ends with the
close of Maha-Pralaya, can hardly be given in a few words or even volumes.
It is simply an allegorical representation of the unseen and unknown
primeval intelligences, the atoms of occult science, Brahma himself being
called Anu or the Atom, fashioning and differentiating the shoreless ocean
of the primordial radiant essence. The relation and correspondence between
the "churning of the ocean" and the "war in heaven" is a very long and
abstruse subject to handle. To give it in its lowest symbolical aspect, this
"war in heaven" is going on eternally. Differentiation is contrast, the
equilibrium of contraries: and so long as this exists there will be "war" or
fighting. There are, of course, different stages and aspects of this war:
such for instance as the astronomical and physical. For everyone and
everything that is born in a Manvantara, there is "war in heaven" and also
on the earth: for the fourteen Root and


Seed-Manus who preside over our Manvantaric cycle, and for the countless
Forces, human or otherwise, that proceed from them. There is a perpetual
struggle of adjustment, for everything tends to harmonize and equilibrate;
in fact it must do so before it can assume any shape. The elements of which
we are formed, the particles of our bodies, are in a continual war, one
crowding out the other and changing with every moment. At the "Churning of
the Ocean" by the gods, the Nagas came and some stole of the Amrita—the
water of Immortality,—and thence arose war between the gods and the Asuras,
the no-gods, and the gods were worsted. This refers to the formation of the
Universe and the differentiation of the primordial primeval matter. But you
must remember, that this is only the cosmogonical aspect—one out of the
seven meanings. The war in heaven had also immediate reference to the
evolution of the intellectual principle in mankind. This is the metaphysical

Q. Why are numbers so much used in the Stanzas; and what is really the
secret of their being so freely used in the World-Scriptures—in the Bible
and in the Puranas, by Pythagoras and by the Aryan Sages? 

A. Balzac, the unconscious occultist of French literature, says somewhere,
the Number is to Mind the same as it is to matter, 'an incomprehensible
agent.' But I would answer— perhaps so to the profane, never to the
initiated mind. Number is, as the great writer thought, an Entity, and at
the same time, a Breath emanating from what he called God and what we call
the ALL; the breath which alone could organize the physical Kosmos, 'where
naught obtains its form but through the Deity, which is an effect of
Number.”* "God geometrizes" says Plato. 

Q. In what sense can numbers be called Entities? 

A. When intelligent Entities are meant; when they are
*(Vol. I., p. 66.)


regarded simply as digits they are, of course, not Entities but symbolical

Q. Why is the radiant essence said to become seven inside and seven outside?

A. Because it has seven principles on the plane of the manifested and seven
on that of the unmanifested. Always argue on analogy and apply the old
occult axiom "As above so below." 

Q. But are the planes of "non-being" also Septenary? 

A. Most undeniably. That which in the Secret Doctrine is referred to as the
unmanifested planes, are unmanifested or planes of non-being only from the
point of view of the finite intellect; to higher intelligences they would be
manifested planes and so on to infinity, analogy always holding good.


STANZA III. (continued). 


Q. What is meant by saying that these remain? 

A. It means simply that whatever the plurality of manifestation may be,
still it is all one. In other words these are all different aspects of the
one element; it does not mean that they remain without differentiation. 

"The curds are the first differentiation, and probably refer also to that
cosmic matter which is supposed to be the origin of the 'Milky Way'—the
matter we know. This 'matter,' which, according to the revelation received
from the primeval Dhyani-Buddhas, is, during the periodical sleep of the
Universe, of the ultimate tenuity conceivable to the eye of the perfect
Bodhisatva—this matter, radical and cool, becomes, at the first reawakening
of cosmic motion, scattered through Space; appearing, when seen from the
Earth, in clusters and lumps, like curds in thin milk. These are the seeds
of the future worlds, the 'Star-stuff'."*

Q. Is it to be supposed that the Milky Way is composed of matter in a state
of differentiation other than that with which we are acquainted? 

A. I thoroughly believe so. It is the store-house of the materials from
which the stars, planets and other celestial bodies are produced. Matter in
this state does not exist on earth; but that which is already differentiated
and found on earth is also found on other planets and vice-versa. But, as I

* (Vol.I.,p. 69.) 


understand, before reaching the planets from its condition in the Milky Way
matter has first to pass through many stages of differentiation. The matter,
for instance, within the Solar system is in an entirely different state from
that which is outside or beyond the system. 

Q. Is there a difference between the Nebulae and the Milky Way? 

A. The same, I should say, that there is between a highway road and the
stones and mud upon that road. There must be, of course, a difference
between the matter of the Milky Way and that of the various Nebulae, and
these again must differ among themselves. But in all your scientific
calculations and measurements it is necessary to consider that the light by
which the objects are seen is a reflected light, and the optical illusion
caused by the atmosphere of the earth renders it impossible that
calculations of distances, etc., should be absolutely correct, in addition
to the fact that it entirely alters observations of the matter of which the
celestial bodies are composed, as it is liable to impose upon us a
constitution similar to that of the earth. This is, at any rate, what the
MASTERS teach us. 


Q. What are the various meanings of the term "fire" on the different planes
of Kosmos? 

A. Fire is the most mystic of all the five elements, as also the most
divine. Therefore to give an explanation of its various meanings on our
plane alone, leaving all the other planes entirely out of the question,
would be much too ardu-


ous, in addition to its being entirely incomprehensible for the vast
majority. Fire is the father of light, light the parent of heat and air
(vital air). If the absolute deity can be referred to as Darkness or the
Dark Fire, the light, its first progeny, is truly the first self-conscious
god. For what is light in its primordial root but the world-illuminating and
life-giving deity? Light is that, which from an abstraction has become a
reality. No one has ever seen real or primordial light; what we see is only
its broken rays or reflections, which become denser and less luminous as
they descend into form and matter. Fire, therefore, is a term which
comprehends ALL. Fire is the invisible deity, "the Father," and the
manifesting light is God "the Son," and also the Sun. Fire—in the occult
sense—is æther, and æther is born of motion, and motion is the eternal dark,
invisible Fire. Light sets in motion and controls all in nature, from that
highest primordial æther down to the tiniest molecule in Space. MOTION is
eternal per se, and in the manifested Kosmos it is the Alpha and Omega of
that which is called electricity, galvanism, magnetism, sensation—moral and
physical—thought, and even life, on this plane. Thus fire, on our plane, is
simply the manifestation of motion, or Life. 

All cosmic phenomena were referred to by the Rosicrucians as "animated
geometry." Every polar function is only a repetition of primeval polarity,
said the Fire-Philosophers. For motion begets heat, and æther in motion is
heat. When it slackens its motion, then cold is generated, for "cold is
æther, in a latent condition." Thus the principal states of nature are three
positive and three negative, synthesized by the primeval light. The three
negative states are (1) Darkness; (2) Cold; (3) Vacuum or Voidness. The
three positive are (1) Light (on our plane); (2) Heat; (3) All nature. Thus
Fire may be called the unity of the Universe.


Pure cosmic fire (without, so to speak, fuel) is Deity in its universality;
for cosmic fire, or heat which it calls forth, is every atom of matter in
manifested nature. There is not a thing or a particle in the Universe which
does not contain in it latent fire. 

Q. Fire, then, may be regarded as the first Element? 

A. When we say that fire is the first of the Elements, it is the first only
in the visible universe, the fire that we commonly know. Even on the highest
plane of our universe, the plane of Globe A or G, fire is in one respect
only the fourth. For the Occultist, the Rosecroix of the Middle Ages, and
even the mediaeval Kabalists, said that to our human perception and even to
that of the highest "angels," the universal Deity is darkness, and from this
Darkness issues the Logos in the following aspects, (1) Weight (Chaos which
becomes æther in its primordial state); (2) Light; (3) Heat; (4) Fire. 

Q. In what relation does the Sun, the highest form of Fire we can recognize,
stand to Fire as you have explained it? 

A. The Sun, as on our plane, is not even "Solar" fire. The Sun, we see,
gives nothing of itself, because it is a reflection; a bundle of
electro-magnetic forces, one of the countless milliards of "Knots of Fohat."
Fohat is called the "Thread of primeval Light," the "Ball of thread" of
Ariadne, indeed, in this labyrinth of chaotic matter. This thread runs
through the seven planes tying itself into knots. Every plane being
septenary, there are thus forty-nine mystical and physical forces, larger
knots forming stars, suns and systems, the smaller planets, and so on. 
Q. In what respect is the Sun an illusion? 

A. The electro-magnetic knot of our Sun is neither tangible nor dimensional,
nor even as molecular as the electricity


we know. The Sun absorbs, "psychizes" and vampirizes its subjects within its
system. Further than this it gives out nothing of itself. It is an
absurdity, therefore, to say that the solar fires are being consumed and
gradually extinguished. The Sun has but one distinct function; it gives the
impulse of life to all that breathes and lives under its light. The sun is
the throbbing heart of the system; each throb being an impulse. But this
heart is invisible: no astronomer will ever see it. That which is concealed
in this heart and that which we feel and see, its apparent flame and fires,
to use a simile, are the nerves governing the muscles of the solar system,
and nerves, moreover, outside of the body. This impulse is not mechanical
but a purely spiritual, nervous impulse. “		


I hope this is not too confusing, but it shows how vast is the subject of
symbology, and how extensive a knowledge of the keys has to be.

Best wishes,


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